Here's how to keep your phone from overheating this summer

Don't let the sweltering heat slow down your smartphone.

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With the summertime sun on the horizon, people everywhere are applying sunscreen, treating sunburns, and listening to "Smooth" by Santana featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20.

Yes, my friends, beach season is in full-swing, and try though you might to protect yourself from the sweltering heat (and you most definitely should try), protecting your smartphone is a different story. After all, sunscreen might be good at protecting your skin, but it's considerably less effective when it comes to things that aren't skin.

Here are some basic but easy to overlook tips for keeping your iPhone or Android cool this summer.

1. Avoid leaving your phone in direct sunlight for long periods of time

If your smartphone sits in the sun, it's going to heat up.

It might seem obvious, but your smartphone is just as susceptible to sunbeams as you are. While you might be searching for the sunniest spot on the beach to soak up some rays, your phone is definitely hoping to stay in the shade.

Along with sunny beaches, hot, unventilated cars are also a problem area for smartphones. Avoid keeping your phone on the dashboard, seat, or armrest of your car—even if you only intend to be away from it for a short amount of time.

2. Toggle your display's brightness to reduce battery strain

Apple iPhone X Display Brightness
Credit: Reviewed / Michael Desjardin

Your phone's battery will work less if the display's brightness is lowered, and a battery that works less is a battery that stays cool.

Your phone's display puts a ton of stress on the battery, so if your goal is to avoid the dreaded overheating alert, the first thing you should do is manually set its brightness to the lowest level you're willing to put up with.

This is obviously easier said than done when it's a hot one and you're dealing with seven inches from the midday sun, but what you'll lose in screen visibility you'll make up for in battery conservation. Remember: A cooled-off battery makes for a cooled-off smartphone.

In addition, if your phone features an automatic brightness setting, you'll need to toggle it off, otherwise your phone will boost the brightness back up the second it detects a change in ambient light. Leaving your phone's brightness settings set to "automatic" might seem like a good way to economize the power consumption of your phone's display, but if your goal is to keep your phone as cool as a cucumber, you shouldn't leave your phone's brightness settings up to the phone's software.

3. Identify and close power-hungry apps

Buried in the settings menus of iPhones and contemporary Android phones is a tool you should familiarize yourself with if you haven't already: the battery use tool.

Typically found in a phone's battery settings submenu, the battery use tool is a way for you to visualize and track how your phone's battery is allocating its resources. By shutting down big, power-hungry apps, you'll reduce your battery's overall workload—the smaller the workload, the cooler the battery.

Typically, larger, more work-intensive apps (like web browsers and mobile games, for example) demand more battery power than "slimmer" apps, like the one you use to send text messages. Apps that refresh in the background like, Facebook and Twitter, are also more likely to put a strain on your battery, and, in turn, raise your phone's temperature.

4. Take your phone out of its protective case

Apple iPhone X In Protective Case
Credit: Reviewed / Michael Desjardin

In most cases, removing your smartphone from its protective case will help keep its temperature down.

Removing your phone from its case is a hard sell for those who fear the unexpected, but one of the quickest ways to cool off a blistering battery is to give your sweaty smartphone some room to breathe.

If you're planning on being out and about in the heat with your phone, consider giving your phone extended breaks from its stifling protective case. Much like people, smartphones often appreciate being naked and free while the heat index rises.

5. Don't put your phone in the fridge or freezer to cool it off

If your phone's on the fritz thanks to the heat, your first impulse might be to stick it in the fridge or the freezer. This, my friends, is actually a bad thing that you should not do.

While the freezer treatment might succeed in dropping your phone's internal temperature, you run the risk of shocking your phone's hardware, either due to moisture or the extreme swing in temperature.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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